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Red Tavern (site)

6264 National Pike
Grindstone, PA 15442

From Searight's The Old Pike (1894):

A few hundred yards further west on the south side of the road, is the red tavern, so called, because in early days it was painted red. It is a wooden building, weather-boarded. This house had a large wagon custom, and, what may be considered strange without explanation, was more largely patronized by wagoners going west than east. This was owing to the means of ingress to and egress from the house. It is located near the summit of a hill, a short distance from the road, and immediately in front of it, adjoining the road, is a steep embankment. To drive to the house going west, a way leads off from the summit of the hill, which is level, but to drive out to the road the descent is steep, and wagoners coming east could not reach the wagon yard without driving up this steep grade, and, in many instances, preferred driving on to Colley's rather than pressing their teams against such an obstacle. Despite the disadvantage mentioned, this tavern, as before stated, was a popular resort for wagoners. It was first kept by Cuthbert Wiggins, father of Harrison Wiggins, and at this house Harrison Wiggins was born. It was next kept by George Richards, whose widow became the wife of John Gadd. Cuthbert Wiggins was at this house as early as 1812. John Gribble succeeded Richards as early as 1836, and continued to keep this house for many years, making money in the business, and ultimately buying a farm in the neighborhood, ceased tavern keeping and became a successful farmer. He has been dead many years, but is well remembered as a worthy citizen. Upon the retirement of Gribble, this house passed to the management of Fielding Frasher, a steady-going man, who had been a wagoner on the road, and knew how to keep a tavern. He was an uncle of Capt. L. H. Frasher, of Uniontown, ex-District Attorney of Fayette county. Fielding Frasher had a good custom while keeping this house, but did not continue long in the business, and was succeeded by Huston Todd, a well known citizen in his day. He was a brother-in-law of Judge Hatfield, father of Ewing Todd, for many years a leading citizen of Brownsville, now deceased, and grandfather of William Hatfield Todd, a popular and efficient postal clerk on the route between Pittsburg and New York. Peter Williams, oldest son of the late Gen. William W. Williams, married a daughter of Huston Todd. The reputation of this old house was fully maintained while under the control of Huston Todd. Peter Frasher next took charge of this house. He was a brother of Fielding Frasher, and a typical pike boy, bright, active, and popular. He had been a wagoner, and knew the road from Baltimore to Wheeling. The house, while he kept it, was crowded with guests, but his generous nature prevented him from exacting full payment of bills at all times, and as a consequence his coffers were not as much swollen as those of many of the tavern keepers, more mindful of the chief end of tavern keeping. George Friend succeeded Peter Frasher, but remained only a short time, when he gave way to Parker McDonald. McDonald was the last man who conducted this house as a tavern. He was active, attentive, and popular, but the glory of the road had departed, and the business of tavern keeping was a thing of the past. The old red tavern and the farm adjacent belong to the old and wealthy Bowman family, of Brownsville.

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Last updated: 2014-04-06 07:24:41

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